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Columbus Council may decide Tuesday whether to join water suit

Columbus Council may decide Tuesday whether the city will file suit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for access to the Chattahoochee's water.

The question of whether the city and the Columbus Water Works will file the lawsuit has lingered since June, when the matter first came before Council.

A resolution authorizing the lawsuit was informally tabled at council's July 10 meeting after a closed session. Since then, Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington and Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue have met at least twice to talk about the issue. The state of Georgia already is a party to two lawsuits related to the Chattahoochee, and Perdue recently said he's against the city filing it's own action.

At stake is Columbus' ability to discharge treated wastewater into the river in accordance with its state permit. Unless Columbus consistently gets the water mandated in the permit, the utility could be forced to spend millions of dollars to upgrade its equipment.

The issue returns to council for a decision on Tuesday.

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